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Sunday, April 06, 2003


Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory, Part 2

(Cross-posted from The Command Post)

How Liberals, Old Europe and the Media Will Attempt to Tell Us We Really Lost

(Continued from an earlier series)
Those who opposed any intervention in Iraq aren't going to go away and play nice once it's over. This is a look at some of the ways they will attempt to discredit the success of the Coalition forces in Iraq.

Attack #2: Too many civilians were killed.

Much has been made about the numbers of civilian casualties that have occurred since the war began. Baghdad, of course, loves civilian casualties because they make great television. Residents of Baghdad were even threatened with banishment and confiscation of property if they left the city during the war. On the flip side, the Coalition does not like coverage of civilian casualties for obvious reasons. In either event, after the war Iraq supporters will continue to throw out various statistics on civilian casualties in an attempt to imply that the Coalition forces were either deliberately attacking civilians or allowing their deaths through shoddy or careless use of munitions. Below is an historical comparison of the current casualty figures from the Iraq war to several well-known bombing campaigns in World War 2.

  • Fire-bombing of Dresden: 35,000 - 135,000 civilians

  • Fire-bombing of Hamburg:50,000

  • Dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima/Nagasaki: 100,000+ in the actual bombing, probably a quarter of a million more died of lingering radiation effects

  • Fire-bombing of Tokyo, March, 1945: At least 100,000

Now compare that to how many civilians Baghdad itself claims have been killed/injured so far: 4,000

This is not to minimize by any means the deaths of civilians in war. However, the case cannot be maintained that the Coalition, either through intent or recklessness, is targeting civilians in Iraq. If they were, Iraqi civilian casualty figures would be ten or twenty times higher at a minimum, and most of Baghdad, Basra or any other city in Iraq would be all but leveled. Keep in mind the figures from the various bombings in World War 2 cited above were deliberate actions accomplished before "smart weapons" even existed. In addition, the aircraft in World War 2 carried far less ordinance on a per-aircraft basis and were shot down more often due to enemy action due to the methods of bombing. They were required to fly over the target city itself on very strict flight paths at low speed, thus increasing time on target and thus their vulnerability. With the advent of cruise missiles, laser-guided bombs and such, modern aircraft overfly the actual target only rarely, and the development of stealth technology - elements of which are built into more than just the F-117A or the B-2 - renders those that do far less vulnerable than their WW2 brethren. This says nothing about the improvement of lethality in modern weapons.

So if the Allies in World War 2 were able to inflict tens or even hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties using far less sophisticated aircraft and weapons, it is simply unsupportable that the Coaltion today is either recklessly or deliberately causing civilian casualties in Iraq.

"Today's report confirms that, despite White House scare tactics, Social Security remains sound for decades to come.."

-? Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (NV) upon hearing reports that the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds will go bankrupt even earlier than predicted.

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